Still Winners


The newest thing in wedding cake!

Last week, I asked my readers to go vote for my dear friends The Royers as their cafe was nominated for a big honor.

Thank you to all who voted and tweeted to help the cause.  Royers Round Top Cafe did not win the ultimate title of People’s Platelist.  That was most disappointing to me.

Royers caters weddings. This is a lip-smacking menu.

But, they are winners in my book and in my heart.  Entrepreneurial, generous, kind, loyal, bakers of the pies I love and crave.  You are WINNERS in my eyes, Royers.  (Big J, Little J & I got to sell pies in front of the cafe last Sunday, and I’m selling again this Saturday.   It’s crazy time in Round Top, otherwise known as Antique Week. I would never sneak a bite….)

Welcome to Royers Round Top Cafe

I offered to send a reader who helped with the voting a pie, and the winner is:

abitnerdy

If you did not win a pie, I’m sorry.  I wish I could ship a pie to everyone who commented.  But YOU can order a pie and have it shipped to yourself or someone you think needs a pie *and who doesn’t*.

All photos and writing property of LoneStarLifer. 2010.

Royers did not ask to do the pie giveaway and did not provide the pie that is being shipped to the winner.  I am paying for it with my very own money.

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Royers = ABC Nightline’s People’s Platelist = possible pie for you


Well, hello there. I’ve been away, having a little nervous breakdown. My virtual eyes were bigger than my virtual tummy. Just substitute Snail Mail Notes, blogging, Facebook, Twitter, work, home, couponing, start of school with sports/homework and photography for a Sunday church potluck of roast, ham, turkey & dressing, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, jello salad, homemade rolls with butter, cherry pie, peach cobbler with ice cream, chocolate cake and cheesecake, and you get the idea of how overwhelmed I was feeling. I think I will still be slow to jump right back in to the blog, but I have missed writing and hearing from you, my readers and commenters.

A Royers spread. NUM NUM!

I hate to jump right back in and ask a favor, but I have some dear friends who need your help. I’ve written about Royers Round Top Cafe (in Texas) on this blog before, and I still love ’em today. They are one of 18 finalists from around the country who are nominated for ABC Nightline’s People’s Platelist. You can vote once a day between now and Sunday. I KNOW, I am so so so behind on this. I would really appreciate you running over to the ABC site and voting for Bud Royer and Royer’s Round Top Cafe.

Royers at night

Now here’s the fun part. One of my lucky readers is going to win a fabulous Royers pie which will be shipped to you. Leave a comment below this post telling me you voted for Royers Round Top Cafe. This is ON THE HONOR SYSTEM since I can’t check, so I am trusting you!

*You can have 3 entries for voting, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

*You can also leave more comment entries by tweeting about this contest. Be sure to come back here and leave a comment, showing when you tweeted.  Tweet something like:  PLZ Vote for Royers Round Top Cafe for ABC Nightline’s People’s Platelist. Best. Pie. Ever. http://bit.ly/aqjc1K

*One more way to enter: go to Royers website, check out their pies and come back here to comment and tell me what kind of pie you would choose if you win.

I’ll be back early next week to announce a winner, and a WINNER you will be if you get a pie delivered to your front door!
Sorry, this is US residents only.

All writing and photos property of LoneStarLifer. 2010.
I was not compensated in any way for this blog post.  The Royers do not even know I am writing this blog post, and I will pay for the giveaway pie myself.  I’m just doing this ‘cuz I love ’em.

Bud the PieMan

I {Heart} Faces. My Story In Photos: Dessert Recipe Edition


Looking Forward to Week 14 – My Story in Photos

April 5th – “My Story In Photos: Dessert Recipe Edition”
The first week of each month, Angie & Amy give themselves a “vacation” from going through all of the photo entries. This time we will be featuring a “My Story In Photos: Dessert Recipe Edition.” (Please be sure to still stop by daily because we’ll have other great content all week long.)

Well, I hate to tell you this about myself.  I really don’t cook anymore.  (1) Big J is in our home much more than I, so he has supper on the table each evening when I arrive home from work.  I leave the house early and Big J also makes sure Little J has breakfast before he is off to school  (2) We have not had an oven in a year and a half.  Long story….our house is more than 20 years old and our oven is built into the wall.  For alot of reasons, we have had some setbacks in replacing the oven; finding an oven that fits into the current space has been a major obstacle, and there are others I won’t go into here.  Anyway, I can’t tell you the last time I actually made a full meal on my own.

As you can see from the I ♥ Faces quote above, this week’s assignment was to photograph ourselves or someone creating a dessert.  Since that’s not going to happen at my house, I’m just going to post a picture I took of a favorite dessert of mine.

My friends, The Royer Family, own and operate Royers Round Top Cafe in Round Top, TX.  They run a swingin’ business at their cafe (I just ran my feet off working in the cafe not long ago) and also cater.  This adorable wedding pie is often featured as the groom’s cake at wedding receptions.  (Dear Northern readers: do you have a groom’s cake at your weddings?  I have read it is more of a Southern tradition.)  The pies are a dense chocolate chip pie (like a toll house pie) with chocolate-dipped strawberries placed on the edges of each layer.  This was an outdoor country wedding, it was lots of fun to work with the Royers as they catered the event.

At this wedding, the pie/cake was the actual wedding cake.  Extra pies in many different flavors were also served – pecan, buttermilk, chess, cherry, apple, strawberry-rhubarb.

As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, my version of heaven includes lots of pie, with ice cream on top.  So you can guess that working with the Royers is a real treat for me!  And since I don’t plan on getting married any time soon, maybe I’ll ask for a pie/cake for my next birthday.
Go over to I ♥ Faces to see people who really cook, and take pictures of such.

All writing and photos property of LoneStarLifer. 2010

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Wooooo-Hooooo!


pie

 

Look what showed up on our doorstep late this afternoon!  A Royers pie.  Yeah!

This delicious selection is the Buttermilk Delight.  Start with a flaky, very flavorful crust, of which I eat every bite.  The crust is filled with buttermilk pie filling simply concocted with butter, eggs, sugar, flour and buttermilk.  At least the buttermilk pie I make has those ingredients.  Then Bud the Pieman throws some chocolate chips, coconut and pecans into the mix before baking to perfection.   The pie is UPS’d to your door in a made-to-fit box with packaging that delivers the pie to you fresh and in one piece.

If you are racking your brain trying to figure out what to send Aunt Hilda in Ohio for the holidays, send her one of these.  You could sign her up for the pie-a-month-for-life club.  If you don’t like her that much, just send the pie-of-the-month for a year club.  Or how about sending Christmas pies to your business clients?  My company sent client Christmas gifts from Royers for several years and got many compliments from the recepients.  My co-worker and I handwrote thank you notes, shipped them up to the cafe, and had them inserted into the pie boxes so each gift had a personal touch.  

I didn’t get to participate this past Sunday (since I worked a wedding for them on Saturday), but CBS Sunday Morning was in Round Top to film a piece on Royers.  It is scheduled to air in November, probably close to Thanksgiving.  I’ll let you know when I know for sure.  So order your pies now, before the whole country finds out and Royers gets really busy.

I’ll leave you with pics of the weekend wedding I worked for Royers.

appetizer wagon

appetizer wagon

 

the cafe's delicious lemonade/raspberry tea mixture, called the Arnold Palmet

the cafe's delicious lemonade/raspberry tea mixture, called the Arnold Palmer

chicken strips with honey-mustard dipping sauce

chicken strips with honey-mustard dipping sauce

corn salad

corn salad

announcing the menu

announcing the menu

rolls with herbed butter, salad with cilantro ranch dressing

rolls with herbed butter, salad with cilantro ranch dressing

All photos and writing property of LoneStarLifer. 2009.

Moody Monday.


Monday can be the exciting start of a new week, or a bummer because the weekend was great and over too fast.  It can start slow until your first cup of coffee or you can hit the ground running.  Thus, my Moody Mondays.  I’m going to display a photograph that I’ve taken and you can comment on your mood as you study it.

heart

Royers catered a wedding this past weekend and I was one of the service people.  This table was set up for the bride and groom to have some dinner and take a few moments to breathe after the ceremony.  The weather was so perfect and of course, the food was delicious!

Friday Faves – I Heart Royers Round Top Cafe, Part 2.


Royers caters weddings - yum!

Royers caters weddings - yum!

 Last Friday I began my Friday Favs with Part 1 of I Heart Royers Round Top Cafe.  I promised more discussion about how I became entwined with this family that lives an hour and a half away.  Several years ago the cafe published Royers Round Top Cafe: A Relational Odyssey, part cookbook, part history of the family and cafe, part thoughts on communion through food and friendship.  Bud is interested in publishing another book reflecting the relationship of the cafe, the family and the clients who have become friends over the years.  I wrote the following thoughts in response to that subject:

In what do you believe?  Fate? Destiny? Luck?

 Me? I believe that God Provides.  Ending up on Royer’s Round top Café front porch was no accident.  God knew I, and over time, my family needed some folks in our life who could bless and enrich our lives, and the Royer family fills that description so well.

I first came across the Royers in 2002.  A Nashville friend was coming to Austin and I, living in Houston, looked for a central meeting place.  Somehow I knew of the café and it was the perfect half-way meeting place.  The food was great, we marveled at the pie sampler, and the atmosphere and decor was creative, welcoming, homey and comfortable.  That first visit made a real impression on me.

 After that initial introduction, I browsed the café’s website.  Dr. Karen had several of her writings posted and I read all of them.  The words resonated with something deep inside of me.  2002 was a hard year for my family and me.  I was laid off early in 2002 and was working contract at the time I came across the writings.  My husband had also been laid off for the 4th time in 3 years.  We were dealing with parenting issues.  My life felt narrow and heavy.

Because of the heart, style and content of Dr. Karen’s writings, I felt compelled to email her and share how she touched my heart in my current circumstances.  Dr. Karen emailed back, and told me if I would come to Round Top, she would counsel me for an afternoon at no charge.  My family only had one car at the time, so one of my dear friends drove me to Round Top so I could meet with Dr. Karen.  I came bearing gifts- orange and white M&M’s!  She also came bearing gifts: wise counsel and needed encouragement.  We spent a wonderful afternoon together, and I came away with a lighter heart.  She offered some practical solutions to struggles I had, and we talked in a broader sense about taking the life I have and filling it with creativity and purpose.  It’s taken me many years to formulate and implement what we talked about that day, but slowly over time I have taken her words to heart and incorporated them in my everyday life.

 I took a permanent job in late 2002, and during the 2003 holiday season I was able to use Royer’s pies as client gifts for my firm.  I was so pleased that I could give back to them for the gift of time Dr. Karen had given me.  My company gave Royer’s pies for client gifts for 4 years and it was always a pleasure to “do business” with Tara and Bud during the holidays.

I’ve met college buddies at the café, and 4 of my dear friends and I spent a “turning 50” weekend in Round Top and had an outstanding time eating at Royers.  (Our picture is on the wall!)  When possible, I also stop on my way to or from Austin.  I smile when I walk into the café and am greeted like Norm in “Cheers.”  Because of our business transactions, Tara and I have phoned, talked, IM’d, and emailed over the years.  One day, after a serious IM conversation, a pie and gift certificate showed up at my house!  My husband and I used the certificate this year to celebrate our 16th anniversary.  We were treated like honored guests and enjoyed our day so much.  In June 2008 Royers hosted The Big Party, a celebration of 21 years of operation and Dr. Karen’s latest graduation.   I wanted to come and be a part of the celebration by helping where I could.  My whole family ended up being involved and, though it was hard work, we felt honored and privileged to be included.  When party guests would ask how we knew the Royers, I would tell them that we are one of those families that the Royers have collected over the years.  I would get a knowing smile and nod of the head in response to my answer.

People long for and hope to belong, to be included, to be welcomed.  That’s the gift the Royer family gives, accompanied by fabulous food and perfect pies.  The triple threat!  I didn’t know when I walked into Royer’s Round Top Café 7 years ago, that I was walking into a friendship. But God knew, and I thank Him.

Pleasing, picture-perfect, plump pecans, folded into fabulous, finger-lickin’, flawless filling.  Pour mixture atop celebrated, crazy-good, coveted crust.

pieislife

Add in one small town, funky, family-run establishment and you have Royers Famed Pecan Pie.

T-Shirt you can own from RoyersBig J’s family has been planning for a while to take a trip together to celebrate a big anniversary.  I need to make extra money for travel expenses and guess where I’ve been working?!?  Came in as a customer, now I’m bussing tables during antique week!!!  I’ve also gotten to work some catering jobs with them. But you know what, it’s all good.  People who come to Royers are a special class of folks, working with the Royers is a treat, I get to sneak a bite of pie now and then, and all the raspberry tea I can drink.  Plus I get paid.  Does it get better than that?

Have a good weekend, ya’ll. 

Our 16th at the cafe

Our 16th at the cafe

Me, I’ll be staying inside out of the heat.  Hope you can, too.

Girls Wkend - Antique Wk - Royers for lunch

Girls Wkend - Antique Wk - Royers for lunchFriends at Royers

Friends at Royers

Friends at Royers

 

 

All photographs and writing property of LoneStarLifer. 2009.

Friday Faves – I Heart Royers Round Top Cafe


pie

I’m trying to find my blog rhythm, so I’ve designated Fridays as the day to discuss the things in life that bring me pleasure.  Last week I discussed Cherry Mash and had some nice comments.  Today I will be revealing my next fav to you:

Royers Round Top Cafe in Round Top, Texas (pop 87).

Royers at night

Royers at night

Royers is a nice drive from Houston, Austin, or San Antonio,  a great central meeting spot.  20 or so minutes out of Brenham.  Do you know where Carmine is?  It’s near there.

Anyway, the Royer family is an interesting mix of 2 parents, 3 sons, 3 daughters-in-law, 1 daughter, 1 son-in-law, 2 granddaughters, 2 grandsons.  They are creative, inventive, hard-working, entrepreneuial, generous, outgoing, and very good foodies.  Really good. Worth the drive kind of food. They may be out in the middle of nowhere but their food is out of this world!  I have a standard order: tender melt-in-your-mouth pork tenderloin, covered with a peach and pepper glaze.  Placed beside that bit of perfection is mashed potato casserole and creamed corn (the BEST).  Big J is partial to their quail or steak.  If he can’t decide what he wants, he gets the L.I.T.S. (Life is Too Short) plate: Angus Pasta, pork tenderloin and quail.  Can’t miss with that.  Rolls paired with herbed butter or apple butter round out the meal.

pies Except you have to leave room for PIE.    pies2

P.I.E.  pie. Pie.  PIE. cake. PIE PIE PIE!!!!  Royers is famous for their pies with a fabulous crust.  My fav is pecan.  Running a close second is the buttermilk delight, buttermilk filling with pecans, chocolate chips and pecans.  Like fruit pies?  Try their apple, peach, cherry or strawberry-rhubarb.  Their best-seller is probably the chocolate chip pie – like a warm, huge, delicious chocolate chip cookie with ice cream on top.  You can have butterscotch chip if you’d rather.  Not into pie? (Who ARE you?)  They have a great BIG Sin-namon roll or bread pudding.

Food is only part of the Royers experience.  The cafe is cozy and eclectic and there is 60’s music to keep the place hopping all day.  You can sit on the porch and help yourself (on the honor system) to soda, beer, wine.  The cafe faces the square in the center of town and often times there are interesting people or events to watch from the porch.  I’ve seen bikers, Corvette fans, artists, antiquers, family reunions as I while away some time on the porch.

Bud

Bud

You will be greeted by the family patriarch, Bud.  He’ll get you seated or take your name if there is a wait.  He’s the cafe’s traffic director on the weekends.  But that’s not all.  He bought the cafe back in 1987 and worked hard to grow it into the familiar name it is now.  These days he concentrates on the marketing, branding, catering and promoting the online ordering.   His wife, Dr. Karen, works with Crossroads Counseling in Austin.  She also has studied how creativity adds to your life, helping people to  “Live Life Deep and Wide”.   Daughter Tara runs the day-to-day of the cafe, and her husband Rick directs the kitchen (among many things).  Sons Micah and Todd have full-time jobs but can be found working at the cafe some weekends.  Son JB is in the process of moving to Brenham to be with Tara in the running of the cafe. **My apologies to the Royer family if  I didn’t get this exactly right.

Tara and Karen

Tara and Karen

As I said, food is part of the story.  Getting to know the Royer family and feeling like you are walking into “home” when you come to the cafe is the other part of the story.  Royers has a loyal, loyal client base and they come for more than just the food.  There’s a mood of community when you are sitting close with other folks, enjoying food that satisfies so many senses, hearing laughter and conversations flying everywhere, seeing the Royers sitting at tables catching up with their long-time customers who have become friends.

Todd, Rick, baby Brayden

Todd, Rick, baby Brayden

Stay tuned for Part 2 of  I Heart Royers Round Top Cafe to read how I became attached to this clan.   Next week’s Friday Fav!  Till then, try not to drool on the keyboard when you browse thru these pictures I’ve taken at different Royers events.

P.S. If you are in Timbuktu or New York City, you can order a pie and have it shipped to you.  WHAT A TREAT!!!!

CornTableTable2Pie/Cakewdg

All photographs and writing property of LoneStarLifer. 2009.